Adventures with the Land Rover

When I found out I had the chance to shoot this iconic vehicle, I couldn’t wait to get out in the local streams and woods where I thought this set would be right at home, but first I faced a bigger challenge, building the Set. With it being a Technic set I knew I had a big job on my hands but I took my time and built it over 4 evenings so not to lose what is ultimately the point with any set, the enjoyment of the build.

What stood out from a lot of other technic sets was the realistic look of the vehicle. It seemed very photogenic and rugged just like the real thing. The amazing innards of the vehicle are probably lost on a lot of people but the suspension and gears are a wonder of modern Lego design.

When I came to shooting I was faced with my usual dilemma how to transport the set and keep clean and in one piece. I had to get the set to my selected location without losing half the pieces so I opted for the bulky but secure enormous plastic box. Having to walk to the secluded location took it out on my arms and back but there’s alway a few awkward steps when doing something you love.

The early Monday morning clouds had given way to a clear sky but my preferred favourite spot in a shallow stream had become a raging torrent due to the usual seasonal weather conditions in the North West of England. But I had my heart set on this location so had too improvise. Luckily I had worn my Wellington boots so I trawled the steam for pebbles and rocks and built a platform for the Land Rover to sit on set just below the surface of the water. I had to take extra care not too lose any pieces of they’d be lost forever. Somewhere downstream.

The bright sun was presenting some harsh shadows but also some interesting shafts of light through the overhanging tree branches. These were enhanced with the help of some Atmosphere Aerosol smoke and I managed to capture some satisfactory shots before the clouds rolled back in for what was to be another wet day.

All that was left to do was to take the set and trudge back to safety (before I ended up with a soaking wet Land Rover) and spend the afternoon editing my images down to a handful of ‘keepers’.

The test

She closed her eyes and took a deep breath. After a pause, she opened her eyes and nervously took hold of the controls. She’d never driven until 6 days ago. What on earth was she doing in the cockpit of an RC Car taking her driver’s test?!


Lego ShtacyP had never cared too much for cars. But sometimes in life you have to take opportunities when they arise. So when the chance to take a Fast-Track RC Driving Course came up, ShtacyP didn’t want to let it pass her by.

Continue reading “The test”

The story of a coffee break that helped finding a solution

Once upon a time

Once upon a time, there were two scientists.
If you have no idea what scientist are doing all day: most of the time they are just being curious. They look at the world and try to understand it bit by bit. They may do so in their offices, on expeditions or in their laboratories.
And sometimes they even stumble across a problem when on their coffee breaks. Continue reading “The story of a coffee break that helped finding a solution”

Heavy Lifting

When The LEGO Group sent us a little email asking if we would be interested to review some LEGO Technic sets, we looked at each other and scratched our head. LEGO Technic is not the obvious sweet spot of the average toy photographer and while we have reviewed iconic LEGO Technic sets in the past with the Porsche and the Bugatti Chiron both reviews were two years apart.

Not your day to day toy photographer sets.Click To Tweet

And while we almost said “no, thanks”  I remembered the discussion we had in 2016 in one of our hangouts where I tried to convince Vesa to shoot the LEGO Technic Claas Xerion in the Finnish woods. I got that idea when I saw that beauty in the RLFM days of 2016 in Billund hidden behind the Porsche.  And while that idea did not realize itself in 2016,  it made me go all in two years later. Be brave and bold and hit the reply button with “Yes, Of course”. Continue reading “Heavy Lifting”

Set Review: Porsche 911 GT3 RS

The last LEGO Technic set I owned was the 8860 Car Chassis. It was released in 1980 and contained 668 pieces. Things have moved on a bit since I last built a Technic set.

8860 Chassis
A classic Technic set, albeit with very uncomfortable looking seats.

I’ve always appreciated the large Technic sets from afar, never feeling the desperate need to buy one. They’re masterpieces of technical design, but ultimately display models, and definitely not minifig-compatible. Almost all of my LEGO purchases these days have the end goal of being used in my photography, and I can’t fit minifig Stormtroopers into Technic-scale sets.

However, when given the opportunity to review the new Porsche 911 GT3 RS, how could I refuse? Although this set is thoroughly modern, for me it’s a nostalgic trip back to the 80s.

It has 2604 bits in it, it’s quite a beast. It’s all very nicely presented in its slick black boxes and comes with an instruction manual that competes with epic fantasy novels in page count. It’s a quality production.

Porsche Manual
Now THIS is an instruction manual!

Putting this thing together requires some time. I don’t think I was quite prepared for what 2604 pieces look like. I would have picked a bigger table. I put it together over a couple of days at the weekend—around 8 hours in total. That’s not counting the confused minutes of searching back through the instructions trying to figure out why there were two pieces left over at the end.

Many times I found myself blindly following the building instructions without knowing what I was making. So many cogs and differentials. Only towards the end does it become obvious. I spent ten minutes putting together hinges, rods and a couple of elastic bands to create a mysterious assembly, and only when I attached a steering where did the purpose become clear! You have to be paying attention. There’s always the fear that one missed part could set you back hours (I did make quite a few errors, but they soon become obvious when the next step doesn’t work as expected). In all, an enjoyable experience.

Now what are we making here? No idea.

The finished vehicle was much bigger than I imagined. One of the reasons I’ve never been into Technic sets is that they’re too big for me to store anywhere. I can’t imaging there are many bigger sets that this.

The car is beautiful to look at. It looks good from every angle, which is quite handy if you’re planning a bit of photography. A lot of the cleverness is hidden once you put the outer shell in place—you can no longer see the internals of the engine or the fantastically complex drivetrain, which is a shame. Removing the bodywork from the finished model doesn’t look like an easy option.

Porsche Drivetrain
The fantastically complicated drivetrain and steering assembly. It all works, unless you put a cog in the wrong place, then it doesn’t.

So does it photograph well? It does, it’s hard to take a bad shot of it. There’s no hope of including minifigs here unless you go in for some fancy perspective effects, but that was pretty obvious from the start. I don’t think most people will be buying this to use for minifig photography :-)

Porsche Trooper
Had to upgrade to a 5 inch Stormtrooper to get any Star Wars into this shot. And also a smoke machine.

I really don’t want to dismantle it, but there are some interesting new parts in there (new to me, I don’t know if they exist in other Technic sets). I have a feeling I could make a decent robot or two using some of those parts. A very orange robot.